PESHAWAR: ANP central leader Bashir Ahmad Bilour was killed in a suicide attack Saturday evening along with eight others, including his secretary and two police officials. At least 18 other people were injured when a Taliban bomber blew himself up to hit the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Senior Minister while he was leaving the venue after addressing a public meeting in Peshawar. Bashir Bilour’s personal secretary Noor Muhammad Khan, SHO Abdul Sattar Khan of Khan Raziq Police Station and chief sentry Abdul Mateen Khan were also killed in this assault in Dhaki Nalbandi area, near Qissa Khwani Bazaar. The provincial government of secular Awami National Party (ANP), which has been in forefront in the fight against terrorism, announced to fly the national and party flags at half mast on Sunday, besides announcing three-day mourning on the death of the senior leader. The Nation, Daily Times, The News, Dawn.
ISLAMABAD: Terming the Tehrik-e-Minhaj-ul-Quran International leader Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri as a ‘foreign actor’, the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Central spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan on Saturday said that Tahirul Qadri was working on a foreign agenda and could never be a patriot. In an email message to INP, he said Qadri was sponsoring commercials being aired by various local TV channels in which he was staging a drama of saving the Pakistani state. Ihsan said Tahirul Qadri did not know that people of Pakistan had recognised him as a ‘payroll agent’ of those powers who were working to destroy this state. The News.
GHALLANAI: A soldier sustained injuries when a landmine planted by militants near a spring exploded on Saturday, official sources said. The sources said the landmine exploded when a trooper fetching water from a nearby spring in Samikhel area of Halimzai subdivision stepped over it. He sustained injuries and was taken to Agency Headquarters Hospital in Ghallanai. The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the blast through its central spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan. Soon after the incident, the security forces cordoned off the area and arrested dozens of tribesmen under the collective responsibility clause of the Frontier Crimes Regulation. The News.
CHANTILLY : The Taliban and Afghan government appeared one on foreign troops’ withdrawal from the country at the conclusion of a three-day conference held in Paris on Saturday. The stance of the Taliban delegation was that sustainable peace in Afghanistan could be established only with the exit of NATO forces. Besides, all the stakeholders had a consensus on the dire need of peace in Afghanistan and deliberated on the possibility of ending the war. Although the stakeholders expressed consent over the exit of foreign forces from the country, but there appeared some differences over how these troops could be withdrawn and at what pace. Nevertheless, the Taliban stance was that foreign forces immediately and completely leave Afghanistan. The Taliban also called for a new constitution as a pre-condition for them joining the nation’s fledgling peace process, according to a declaration issued by representatives at a landmark meeting in France. The Nation, Daily Times, The News.
PESHAWAR: The militants stormed two security posts on the boundary between Khyber Agency and Peshawar late Friday night. Officials on Saturday said militants armed with automatic rifles and rockets launchers attacked the Riaz Shaheed Post in Sarband and Azakhel Post in Matani late in the night. The cops and soldiers of Frontier Constabulary retaliated and repulsed the attack, they said. The attackers left behind a car near the Riaz Shaheed Post. The News.
PESHAWAR: As many as 792 policemen were killed and 1,708 wounded in suicide attacks, bombings, ambushes and encounters in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa since January 2007, official statistics disclosed. About 106 policemen had earlier been killed and 184 injured from 2001 to 2006, the statistics revealed. A total of 898 police officials have been killed and 1,892 wounded in the province in attacks by the militants and criminals from January 2001 till the end of November 2012. The worst year was 2009 when 201 cops were killed and 452 injured in 170 different attacks all over Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. As many as 167 policemen were killed and 318 wounded in 2008, 142 were killed and 295 injured in 2011 and 108 died and 232 were wounded in 2007. The slain policemen included those from the rank of constable up to additional inspector general. The News.
BAJAUR AGENCY: Leaders of Bajaur Political Parties Alliance on Saturday expressed concern over delay in implementation of Fata reforms and urged the government to immediately extend the basic human rights to the tribal areas. Addressing a press conference at Khar, leaders of All Bajaur Political Parties Alliance including its president Aurang Zeb Inqalabi, Haji Mohammad Khan, Qari Abdul Majeed, Anwarul-Haq, Dr Khalil-ur Rahman, Gul Afzal Khan and others expressed great concern over the delay in the implementation of reforms in the Frontier Crime Regulation (FCR) in Fata. The Nation.
SHABQADAR: Awami National Party (ANP) Charsadda wing joint secretary Shahjahan Durrani was shot dead by some unknown assailants on Saturday. Durrani was on his way home when he was ambushed near Pehlwan Qila and the assailantspumped bullet into his car, leaving him dead at the scene. Shabqadar police have registering the case against unknown perpetrators and started investigation into killing. The Nation, The News.
LANDIKOTAL: Torkham border was closed for six hours on Saturday in protest against torture of Pakistani labourers. Pakistani border security forces closed the border for every kind of traffic and pedestrians in protest against torture of 29 Pakistani labourers in Afghanistan by Afghan security forces. “Afghan forces snatched three passports from us, tore them to pieces and threw them in the River Kabul,” Tariq Mahmood, one of the labourers told the media. “Afghan immigration officers also forced us to pay them Rs 30,000 in bribe,” Tariq, who hails from Lahore, said. After the incident, Pakistani border forces closed the border in protest for six hours. Akram, another labourer from Gujranwala, said that they had gone to Afghanistan to work in Shuja Steel Mills in Forte Murad Bag Kabul for a month under legal visas. Daily Times.
Khurram Agency: HAD there not been ‘notorious’ Mullah Toofan, no one would have heard about Joogi area. Lying in the extreme northeastern corner of central Kurram, Joogi was a safe haven for Mullah Toofan and his associates. Their presence in this God-forsaken area brought it into military’s notice. Joogi, situated at about 8,000 feet height in the foothills of Spin Ghar (white mountain), was in the headlines after Taliban were driven out of their stronghold following a successful military operation in July 2011. Joogi can be likened to Mars where signs of life exist, but the human souls have rare access to basic amenities.Surrounded by snowy peaks, dwellers of this secluded valley are at the mercy of nature. They have very little access to basic needs like health and education. Roads, transport, electricity and telephone don’t exist. Dawn.
NAWAF KHAN, SHARAFAT ALI CHAUDHARY